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Remaining schedule could allow Raiders to recover from 1-4 start

The Raiders didn’t expect to be 1-4 at their bye week, but that’s where they are after some lack of execution in late-game situations.

The good news is there is still plenty of season remaining, and the schedule eases up a bit on the other side of the bye.

Here’s a look at their final 12 opponents:

Oct. 23, vs. Houston Texans

Line: Raiders -7

Rookie running back Dameon Pierce has emerged as a legitimate threat out of the backfield, but the Texans are still among the NFL’s worst teams. The Davis Mills experiment at quarterback isn’t working, and at some point this team should start focusing more on draft position than winning games.

Oct. 30, at New Orleans Saints

Line: Saints -1

The Saints have battled through injuries to skill position players, but still find themselves in decent position at 2-3. They expect to improve as they continue to get key contributors back, and the Caesars Superdome is a tough place to play. New Orleans on Halloween weekend is also a spooky proposition, inside and outside the stadium.

Nov. 6, at Jacksonville Jaguars

Line: Pick ’em

First-year coach Doug Pederson had this team playing feisty football in the first few weeks. They have cooled off, but the Jaguars are a more competent side than when Urban Meyer was the coach. A key factor to remember is that it’s the second consecutive game for the Raiders in the southeast, and they are expected to spend the week training in the area instead of returning to Las Vegas.

Nov. 13, vs. Indianapolis Colts

Line: N/A

Veteran quarterback Matt Ryan was supposed to stabilize a franchise that rode the roller coaster of QB Carson Wentz out of the playoffs last season. Instead, they are getting all the downs without as many ups as they hoped for when they made the trade. Indianapolis is the league’s worst team, according to FootballOutsiders.com’s DVOA ratings. That figures to change in the next month, but it’s not a great spot after five weeks.

Nov. 20, at Denver Broncos

Line: Broncos -2.5

The Raiders defeated the Broncos in Week 4. Nothing comes easily in this rivalry, however, and the Raiders can expect a rude welcome in Denver for the return visit. Quarterback Russell Wilson could be feeling a bit more comfortable by that time.

Nov. 27, at Seattle Seahawks

Line: Raiders -3

The defense has looked as bad as the offense was supposed to for a team moving on from Wilson after a decade as the face of the franchise. Quarterback Geno Smith looks to be firmly in command of one of the league’s highest-scoring units, but coach Pete Carroll has to do something to get the defense figured out soon.

Dec. 4, vs. Los Angeles Chargers

Line: Pick ’em

The Raiders still think they let one slip away in the season opener at SoFi Stadium against quarterback Justin Herbert and the Chargers. Their defensive adjustments in the second half kept Herbert in check enough to give the offense a chance to win the game. Last season’s game at Allegiant Stadium was perhaps the best game of the regular season.

Dec. 8, at Los Angeles Rams

Line: Rams -5

The Raiders’ offensive line has performed a bit better than some fans had feared, but a short week to prepare for stud defensive lineman Aaron Donald would be a nightmare for even the most talented unit. He has the ability to single-handedly destroy game plans. The Rams’ offense should be better by this game, unless the struggling pass protection unit gets quarterback Matt Stafford crushed before then.

Dec. 18, vs. New England Patriots

Line: N/A

This is scheduled to be a prime-time game on a Sunday night, but it’s a candidate to get flexed out of that spot if their records don’t improve. NBC might want to keep it regardless because of the storyline of coach Josh McDaniels hosting his mentor, Patriots coach Bill Belichick. The Patriots aren’t off to a great start, but Belichick’s teams tend to improve as the season goes on. Raiders fans are hoping McDaniels’ team will share that trait.

Dec. 24, at Pittsburgh Steelers

Line: Raiders -2.5

Another game that will get a great deal of attention, as it will mark the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the “Immaculate Reception.” The Steelers hope to have found a spark by inserting rookie first-round pick Kenny Pickett at quarterback, but the struggles on the offensive line have rendered the running game almost nonexistent.

Jan. 1, vs. San Francisco 49ers

Line: 49ers -2

This could be one of the wildest atmospheres in the NFL this season, particularly should the result still be relevant for both teams. The Raiders and 49ers renewing hostilities on New Year’s Day in Las Vegas? Good luck getting a flight from the Bay Area that week. Oh, and the 49ers just happen to look pretty good.

Jan. 7, vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Line: Chiefs -3

The Chiefs are not an ideal opponent should the Raiders need a victory to qualify for the postseason. The Chiefs are playing well and figure to get even better as their new players get accustomed to playing with one another. Something to watch for is the Chiefs having their playoff position wrapped up and resting some players.

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on Twitter.

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